Walcha – Round 16 vs Gunnedah (written by Henry King)
Walcha travelled to Gunnedah with both grades needing to win, A Grade to secure the minor premiership and Reserve Grade to lock in their finals spot. Unfortunately for Reserve Grade, they seemed to have left their A game in the change rooms as they gave away a 17-0 lead by half time. The second half brought about a great improvement but handling errors were proving costly as every time Walcha looked to have Gunnedah on the ropes, they lost the ball. Wally Davidson did manage to cross to bring the score to 17-7 and the Rams looked certain to narrow the gap for much of the second half but could never quite get over the line, which was also a credit to Gunnedah’s defence, given that Sam Martin and Henry Leslie, who brought a bit of extra luggage him from overseas with him, were among the big men running at them. Unfortunately after throwing everything at Gunnedah and being unable to crack them, Gunnedah were able to hit back with two late tries to take the game 29-7, leaving the finals fate of the reggies this year in the hands of the Rugby Gods, who fortunately must be owing the rams a couple of favours by now this year. The best for the rams were skipper Tom Rose with 3points and players player, Troy Yarnold with 2 points and Charlie Uren with 1 point.
A Grade were on the front foot early with some dominant forward play setting up some great opportunities for the backline but they were unable to capitalise, with Charlie Keen crossing twice in the first 15 minutes only to be called back for forward passes both times. A couple of other bombed tries proved to be costly as the game was locked up at 0-0 at half time. The second half gave rise to a renewed effort from Gunnedah, which Walcha were able to meet for the most part and despite Gunnedah scoring early in the half, Walcha looked likely to hit straight back. It was similar to the reserve grade plight where the final blow just did not seem to come to get the Rams across the line. An interesting call from the blind touch judge saw Simon Newton in the bin for tackling and Gunnedah scored two more tries in the 10 minute break leaving Walcha too much to do in the last 10 minutes. The final score was 24-0, the first time all season that Walcha had been held to less than 20 points, leaving plenty to work on in the final weeks leading into the major semi final in Walcha on August 31. Best for the Rams were Sandy Cameron with 3 points and players player, RossFletcher with 2 points and Ed Cordingley with 1.